Speaking of William Blake, hats off to antiquarian bookseller, John Windle (“Windle’s connection to Blake is more spiritual than commercial”). Allen would, more than once, call Windle, Windle remembers, if he “needed a Blake fix”.
“Scholarly, wide-ranging and full of penetrating insight and fascinating literary gossip, the book is a major contribution to the core Beat canon, and provides an astonishingly intimate view of a homegrown American literary movement that would have a generative influence worldwide, inspiring generations of writers, visual artists, filmmakers, musicians and political activists across the globe..”… Read More
[Allen Ginsberg reading and lecturing in Olomouc in the Czech Republic, 1993]
Allen’s new book, The Best Minds of My Generation, selections from Allen’s lectures (not to be confused with the lectures transcribed here on the Allen Ginsberg Project), “mercifully reduced to 455 pages, shorn of repetitions, student interventions and Ginsberg’s habit of beginning every sentence with “So” – (sic) – as the reviewer in the London Times would have it) continues to impress one and all.
Here’s an excerpt from Gaby Wood‘s review in London’s Daily Telegraph:
The Best Minds of My Generation: A Literary History of The Beats As Taught by Allen Ginsberg is just out (this past Tuesday) from Penguin Books in England. Next Friday, Grove Press will publish the American edition. Interesting to compare the covers perhaps – the more sober UK edition, the more brash, more jazzy American? – Either way, it’s another essential Ginsberg book. Reviews are already highly positive:
Publisher’s Weekly – “A gold mine for anyone interested in beat literature . . . Ginsberg reads and thinks like a poet; interested in language and style, he abandons narrative to … Read More
“The Collector of Customs, Chester MacPhee, confiscated 520 copies [of Howl ] because, as he said, “The words and the sense of the writing is obscene…you wouldn’t want your children to come across it.” U.S. Customs Law required a Federal Judge, upon application of the U.S. Attorney, to grant permission to destroy the books. But, as [City Lights publisher, … Read More
Michael Schumacher‘s collection of miscellaneous Ginsberg interviews, First Thought, as we mentioned last week, will be published very soon. Meantime, it’s worth considering Schumacher’s other titles, his masterly distillation of The Essential Ginsberg (out from Harpers in 2015), his remarkable edit of the Ginsberg father-son letters, Family Business, (2001) and his monumental biography, Dharma Lion (1994,recently re-issued by University of Minnesota Press in an expanded edition, 2016)
A recent review of the latter the new edition … Read More
From the publisher’s web-site: “Here, through previously-uncollected interviews, we encounter Allen Ginsberg elaborating on how speech, as much as writing and reading, and even poetry, is an act of art. Revealing, enlightening, and often just plain entertaining. Allen Ginsberg in conversation is the quintessential twentieth-century American poet as we have never before encountered him; fully present in pitch-perfect detail.”